• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Prunus laurocerasus

cherry laurel

cherry laurel

© RHS 2002

  • Other common names cherry laurel
    laurel cherry

    Versailles laurel
    common laurel

    see more
  • Family Rosaceae

  • Genus Prunus can be deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs with showy flowers in spring, and often good autumn foliage colour. Some have edible fruit in autumn, and a few species have ornamental bark

  • Details P. laurocerasus is a vigorous, large, spreading evergreen shrub with handsome, glossy dark green leaves to 15cm in length. Small white flowers in erect racemes to 12cm in length are followed by cherry-like glossy red fruits soon turning black

  • Plant range E Europe, SW Asia

Characteristics

  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Bushy

  • Fragrance Flower

  • Toxicity Leaves and fruit can be harmful if injested

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H5

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect North-facing or East-facing or South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered or Exposed

Soil

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Loam

    Loam

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Clay

    Clay

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained, Well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Loam, Sand, Clay

  • pHAcid, Neutral, Alkaline

Size

  • Ultimate height 4-8 metres

  • Ultimate spread wider than 8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 20-50 years

How to grow

Cultivation Easy to grow in any moist but well-drained moderately fertile soil in sun or partial shade. Superb hedging shrub but may become chlorotic on poorer, shallow chalky soils. Fast-growing, forming dense walls of foliage if not pruned and has the potential to become a nuisance

Propagation Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings from late summer to autumn or hardwood cuttings from late autumn to late winter; propagate by seed in autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types Hedging & Screens Low Maintenance Drought Resistant Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 8 including hedges in late spring or early summer

Pests Leaves may be damaged by vine weevil and leaf-mining moths

Diseases May be affected by powdery mildews and other laurel leaf diseases

Advertise here

Did you find the information you were looking for?

RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

Join the RHS now